Saturday, June 26, 2010

working

Will this project ever see the light of day? I wonder.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

My hilarious relationship with John Chick.

I grew up on Chick tracts. They were at most churches we attended. They were given to me in school. They scared me quite senseless at a very young age. As I entered adulthood I would still see them around and I would always grab one. I have a decent collection now. As for the tracts themselves, they are paranoid, anti-everything that isn't american protestant vitriol. He thinks the Catholic church started the holocaust to punish the jews. He thinks homosexuals are explicitly after your children. He thinks communism was also founded by the Catholic church. He espouses a great blend of dispensationalist, rapture-ready religion that is waiting for Russia to attack Israel next Tuesday. He also has a giant axe to grind against "THE OCCULT", which is an undefinable, shadowy mass of conspiracy and hellions. Literal hellions. Trick or treating in your community, according to the world of Chick, probably happens because your mayor is receiving a kick-back from a local coven of witches who are AT THIS VERY MOMENT poisoning candy to off children as a sacrifice to the man-goat. The world of Chick is one where every institution is explicitly out to get you, and everything John Chick doesn't like is merely the devil wearing a paper mask.

HOWEVER.

My adult fascination with the Chick organization's tracts stem largely from an interest in western religious experience, and especially western superstition. These little comics are a treasure-trove of both. They're equally at home espousing a version of a the gospel and the evil eye. In the same few pages you can find the classic altar call followed by a rant about the impending new world order which - in case you're wondering - will also be ushered in by the Catholic church.

The proliferation of these tracts and, to a greater extent, the support for them by a great many churches is both a tragedy and a point of fascination for me. Also I can't deny that the little covers, with their 1/3 representative image and 2/3 while sans-serif-title on black are striking. I would love to live in a world in which these did not exist, but I have to admit it's more interesting having them around.